Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

in which and drinking thereof, forgets all his former griefs, so Yasada, hearing the words of Buddha, lost every remnant of fear and anxiety, and experienced a sense of complete repose. Then Yasada, filled with joy, took off his jewelled slippers, laid them on the bank, and entered the river Parana to cross over it; he left them there just as a man who rejects some spittle from his mouth leaves it, nor thinks of it again! Then, on account of the shallowness of the water, Yasada soon passed over, and having approached towards the spot where Buddha was, and beholding all the excellencies of his person, he fell down before him in humble adoration and worshipped him. Then, arising, he stood on one side. Hereupon Buddha, having preached to Yasada, and declared to him the character of the four sacred truths, behold! he received enlightenment, and, like pure water, his heart was cleansed from every remnant of care.

Meantime, his wives, having woke up and perceiving that their Lord was absent, began to raise a great outcry with much lamentation, and hastened to his mother and said, "Dear Mother! your son is gone! he was here yesternight, but now we cannot find him in the palace!" His mother, filled with fear, then aroused her husband and said, "My Lord! your son Yasada is nowhere to be found in the palace!" On this, he sent for the wise men and soothsayers, and told them the circumstances, on which proclamation was made from the four gates of the city, saying—" Whoever will bring me news of my son, Masada, where he is, or in what direction he has gone, that man shall receive one hundred thousand lakhs of money as a reward." On that very night the nobleman, Yasada's father, distressed with fear and grief, was wandering forth in his perplexity towards the Parana River, having passed through the Bhadrapati gate, when he came to the very spot where the priceless jewelled slippers which Yasada had left there, were lying; on seeing these, he said, "Then, my dear son is not dead; for if he were dead these slippers would not be here!" leaving them where they lay, the, father forthwith crossed the river in search of his son. Buddha, perceiving the approach of the nobleman, determined to exercise his miraculous spiritual power, and so he caused Yasada to become invisible. On this the father, approaching, addressed Buddha with great respect and said, " Have you, venerable sir! seen my son Yasada pass by this way, or not?" To which the world-honoured one replied, "If you have leisure, respected sir! sit you down here awhile and rest! and soon you shall see your son!" Then the nobleman reflected thus—" It is impossible for this Shaman to speak falsely—what he says must be true !" and so he was filled with joy, he bowed his head at Buddha's feet and sat down. Then Buddha began to preach to him, and to explain in order the various truths of his system; on which, like a clean garment that easily receives the dye, he attained joy and release, and accepted the three refuges and the five commandments of the lay disciple. Then Buddha, by his miraculous power, caused Yasada to appear; on seeing him, his father exclaimed, "Dear son! your mother is weeping, and filled with grief on your account. Dear son! pity her condition and return to her lest she die of a broken heart!" Then Buddha addressed the nobleman and said, "Illustrious sir! how think you ? can a man who has accepted the three modes of refuge, and taken on him the vows of a religious mendicant, can such an one return to his house and family again, or not?" To which he replied, "He cannot." Then Buddha said, "Even so this Yasada, having obtained emancipation from the world, can no more return to its pleasures; he is free from all family ties, and can no longer be subject to them."

Then the nobleman, having entreated Buddha to partake of his alms, arose and proceeded a little way homewards; on which Masada also arose from his seat and, bowing down at Buddha's feet, besought him to receive him fully as a disciple. On which Buddha said, " Welcome! oh Bhikshu! walk perfectly in the Law which I declare, and thus become a perfect Brahmana." Buddha, having said this, Yasada received perfect deliverance, and arrived at the condition of a Rahat. There were now seven Rahats in the world.

Then, early in the morning, the world-honoured one, having put on his robe, and holding his alms-bowl in his hand, having desired Yasada to wait upon him, proceeded to the city and to the house of the nobleman, Yasada's father. Arrived there, he entered into the house and sat down. Then the mother of Yasada and his wife, having come into his presence, bowed down and saluted Buddha's feet. On this the world-honoured one proceeded to explain in detail the rules of the system, and preached to them as well on charity as on purity and rest. After this he expounded the four great truths. And so it came to pass that they were able to cast off the defilement of sense, and to realise the inward cleansing power of these truths; and as a pure garment which is dyed easily, so they also attained enlightenment.

These two, viz., Yasada's mother and his wife, were the first female disciples of Buddha who took refuge in the threefold gem, and took upon them the five commandments of the lay-disciple (Upasika).

Then the nobleman and his wife, with their household, presented with their own hands to Buddha the choicest food and drink, wheat and honey and rice, of which he freely partook. Then Subrabuddha and his wife, having taken the alms-bowl of Buddha, carefully washed it, whilst Buddha himself remained resting. After which, carrying with them smaller cushions, they arranged them in front of Buddha, and themselves sat down to listen to his further exhortations. Then Buddha, seeing their conduct in exact conformity with his Law, freely preached to them, and caused them to understand his doctrine fully. They on their part were filled with joy, and accepted all they heard with sincere hearts. Then the worldhonoured one, rising from his seat, prepared to depart from the city, and, followed by Yasada, he left the abode of his entertainer.

[Kiouen XXXV contains 6,310 words, and cost 3.155 taels.]

CHAPTER XXXVI.
The subsequent conversion of Masada's friends.

§ 1. Now at this time there were in the city of Benares four exceedingly rich and prosperous householders—the name of the first Vimala [no pollution (Ch. ed.)]; of the second Subhada [illustrious, or, good, shoulder (Ch. ed.)]; of the third Purnaka [fall and enough (Gh. ed.)]; of the fourth Gavpati [Lord of oxen (Ch. ed.)]. These four, having heard of Yasada's conversion, and that he had become a Shaman devoted to the practice of a Brahmana,1 having heard this, began to reflect with themselves thus—"This is very singular, there must be something very superior in the system of that great Shaman to induce Yasada to behave in this way; we will go for ourselves and see what it is that great Shaman teaches."

1 That is, devoted to a pure life.

Having thought thus, they set out together and proceeded to the place where Yasada was dwelling.

Arrived there, they respectfully saluted him and spake thus— "Noble Yasada! there must be something very superior in the system of this great Shaman, to induce you to join yourself to his company, and enter on the life of a Brahmana; tell us, we pray you, what his system is." Then Yasada brought these four, the householders of Benares aforesaid, to the place where Buddha himself was. Arrived there they respectfully bowed down at his feet, and then took a place on one side. Then Yasada addressed his master as follows—" Maha Buddha! honoured by the world! these four eminent persons—Vimala, Subhada, Purnaka, and Gavpati —are very old friends of mine, and they have come here desiring to learn what your system of doctrine is, in order to attach themselves to your person as lay disciples; would that my Lord would teach them and expound the truth in their hearing!" Then the world-honoured one, of his great love and compassion, began to explain in consecutive order the great principles of his system, to wit, the character of true charity (Dana), morality (sila), patience (kshanti), and so on; he went through the whole, step by step, and explained his entire Law. So it came to pass, that these four also received enlightenment, they cast off the defilement of sense, and, as a pure garment is readily dyed, they also were changed in heart. Then they arose and prostrated themselves at the feet of Buddha, and respectfully addressed him thus—"Oh! Maha Buddha, world-honoured one, permit us, we pray you, to become your disciples also, to leave our homes and take upon us the rules of a Shaman."

Then Buddha replied, "Welcome, oh Bhikshus! enter on the course of true Brahmanas! and follow me."

Then they received the accustomed tonsure, and after seven days put on the three garments, and accepted the alms-bowl of mendicants. Then, having passed some time in the woods as hermits (arafiyaka), they also arrived at the condition of Rahats. There were now eleven Rahats in the world.

In the same way fifty other persons, all friends of Yasada, who were in the habit of coming to him from different countries, to converse and discuss questions of importance, were all converted and became Eahats; so that the number of Eahats altogether amounted to sixty-one.

§ 2. And now the world-honoured one, having converted these sixty persons in the Deer park near to Benares, desired to visit other countries also, whereupon he spake to Yasada as follows— "Dear Yasada! I wish you now to remain here and not to follow me, for you are but young and ill-prepared to bear the toil and privations which the life of a travelling mendicant will require of you; remain, then, I pray you, in this place, and receive the nourishment and other necessaries you require at the hands of your father and mother, who will care for you that you want nothing." On this, Yasada, with reverence, replied, "I dare not disobey your wishes, honoured by the world!" And so he remained there at Benares. Now at this time there happened to be five hundred merchant men at Benares who were formerly well acquainted with Yasada's family; these, having returned home from a distant expedition, heard the news about Yasada's conversion, and began to reflect thus—"There must be something very superior in the teaching of this great Shaman, to induce Yasada to leave his home and become a disciple; we will go and inquire at his hands, and learn what this doctrine is." So, having repaired to Yasada's abode, they addressed him thus—" Dear Yasada! we were formerly well acquainted one with the other, but we have not met for a long time, for in truth we merchants have only just returned from a long voyage. But now, having come home, the first thing we hear is, that you have become a recluse; we have come to inquire, therefore, from you what it is that induced you to take this step, and what the doctrines of your master are." Having said this, they stood on one side. Then Yasada entered on an explanation of Buddha's teaching, and in consequence these five hundred merchants also became his followers, they left their homes, received the five precepts of the lay disciple; but, nevertheless, for many years they tried in vain to obtain perfect enlightenment (i.e., acquire Bodhi, or become Rahats).

« ПредишнаНапред »